Exodus 20 v 7 You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.
Like all of God’s word, this third commandment is much needed today. To misuse God’s name is to act or speak in such a way that some bad reflection or dishonour is cast on the name of the Lord. The name of the Lord of course, refers to His very person. It means to defy Him, reject Him, deny Him, or to attempt to use Him for our own selfish purposes.
Although this commandment is given to his redeemed people to keep them from hypocrisy or insincerity, it is nevertheless binding on all people everywhere. All people everywhere have a deep inner sense that God exists because God is our creator and we are His creation created in His image. The apostle Paul said that even Gentile unbelievers “know God” but did not honour him as God (Romans 1 v 21). Rather they exchanged the truth about God for a lie. (Romans 1 v 25) In this way they actually rejected the truth about God’s existence which they instinctively knew. (Romans 1 v 19)
In Psalm 14 v 1 we read. “The fool says in his heart there is no God.” Why does the fool conclude there is no God? “Because they are corrupt, their deeds are vile.” (Psalm 14 v 1) In other words, often behind the rejection of God lies not an intellectual argument, but rather a moral problem which makes the existence of God a real problem to the guilty party.
And so many misuse His name by denying His existence because it suits their behaviour patterns for there to be no God. But in our verse today we read “the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.” There will be a day of reckoning when all the secrets of our hearts will be exposed and the motives upon which they based our rejection of God will lie in ruins.
Prayer: Almighty God, it seems that the whole world has turned from you to their own way. Please open the eyes of the blind and turn evil people from their wicked ways, and grant repentance and mercy to many. Amen